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Facebook gets EU approval for $19bn WhatsApp bid

Credit: PA Images

The European Union has given clearance to Facebook's proposed $19bn (£11.8 billion) bid to takeover mobile messaging app WhatsApp.

The landmark deal is the largest in Facebook's 10-year history and will give it a strong foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market, Reuters have reported.

The European Commission said the Facebook-WhatsApp deal would not hurt competition in the lucrative European mobile communications market.

"We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps," European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.

EU regulators 'to approve Facebook's $19 billion WhatsApp deal'

Facebook's $19 billion offer to but WhatsApp will be unconditionally approved by European Union antitrust regulators, two people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

EU regulators 'to approve Facebook's $19 billion WhatsApp deal' Credit: Armin Weigel

The landmark deal, the largest in Facebook's 10-year history, will give the company a strong foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market and pit it against telecoms companies.

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New WhatsApp record sees 20bn messages in one day

Instant messaging service WhatsApp has set a new company record for the number of messages handled in a single day, just weeks after being purchased by Facebook.

In a tweet sent from the company's official Twitter account, the messaging service announced that in a 24 hour period more than 64 billion messages were handled.

This breaks down into 20 billion sent messages and 44 billion received according to the tweet.

The figures differ due to the group messaging setting in the app which counts a message sent to a group as one sent item, but is counted as received by each individual in the group.

A year ago, WhatsApp's daily message traffic was around 27 billion a day; highlighting a significant increase in traffic.

WhatsApp users complain service is still down

Some WhatsApp users are apparently still experiencing problems with the instant messaging service, following a message posted from its official Twitter account to say that problems had been resolved after a two-hour outage.

Many were blaming the problems on the app being newly acquired by Facebook, which bought WhatsApp for $16 billion (£9.58 billion) on Wednesday.

WhatsApp users tweet about outage

WhatsApp took to Twitter to complain about the problems with the instant messaging service, while others joked that the app's recent multi-billion dollar deal with Facebook was behind the two-hour outage.

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WhatsApp: We are so sorry for the downtime

WhatsApp apologises after cutting out for two hours

Social media giant Facebook was left embarrassed after its new $16 billion (£9.58 billion) acquisition, WhatsApp, went down for more than two hours.

WhatsApp, went down for more than two hours. Credit: PA

The team behind the instant messaging app, which was snapped up by Facebook on Wednesday, apologised to its more than more than 450 million monthly global users after suffering "server issues".

The highly popular mobile phone applications's chat conversations showed a loading asterisk and the alert "Connecting..." while the problems persisted.

A look at Facebook's £11 billion WhatsApp valuation

Facebook's acquisition of the WhatsApp instant messaging service values the firm at around £11 billion - but why is it so much?

WhatsApp currently has 450 million users who send 53 billion messages every day. Credit: ITV News
These users send 600 million photos and 100 million video messages each day. Credit: ITV News

EE boss: WhatsApp is not a threat but an opportunity

The CEO of Britain's biggest mobile operator EE, Olaf Swantree, has told Economics Editor Richard Edgar that messaging apps such as WhatsApp are not disruptive as the network "is all about data".

Mr Swantree says EE encourages users to use 4G for a variety of applications and WhatsApp is "not a threat" but an "opportunity to offer 4G to more customers in more places."

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